Debunking 6 Common Thyroid Myths

No matter if you feel sad, happy, angry or even hungry, you will always blame your hormones for it. Well, it’s true in a sense as our hormones affect all our body functions. Talking in numbers, the human body nearly makes 50 different types of hormones known for their particular functions.

But do you know what affects your hormones the most? Clearly, it’s what you feed to our body. Yes, you got me right! It’s food and stress. Talking about food, It goes without saying that all our body functions are affected by our food intake. Similar is the case with our hormones.

I got to know more about the association of food and hormones when I visited the bestthyroid doctor in Karachi and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. And the disease came with hundreds of suggestions from every side (all thanks to digital nutritionists!).

At the moment I realized that this dealing with these myths was even more challenging than the disease itself. In case you are going through a similar experience, this article is for you.

What is thyroid disease?

The thyroid is a bow-shaped gland just below Adam’s apple in our throat. The gland is responsible for the production of hormones that are mainly responsible for our body’s metabolism. Any increase and decrease in thyroid production can onset several problems in our body including

  • Hypothyroidism (increased production of thyroid gland’s hormones)
  • Hyperthyroidism (decreased production of thyroid gland’s hormones)
  • Goitre (enlargement of the gland)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid nodules

What are the myths about thyroid diseases?

1- You will surely know if you are having the problem

Just like other diseases, thyroid problems can often go unnoticed. Commonly thyroid problems are associated with the fatigue, dry skin, weight changes, high blood pressure etc. However, many times thyroid problems can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to their overlapping symptoms with other diseases.

2- Only females can have a thyroid problem

Thyroid diseases are usually associated with females of older ages. However, thyroid disease can affect both male and female at any age. Female gender is indeed a risk factor for the diseases but that doesn’t mean that men can’t develop it.

3- Iodine is the solution for all your problems

All thyroid patients can relate to this that iodine is generally considered as the solution to their problem. Most of the time we have seen people taking iodine supplements without doctor’s prescription. Undoubtedly, iodine can help to improve the functioning of the thyroid gland but iodine supplements are not the solution, in fact, excess iodine supplements can do more harm than good.

When I was getting treated for thyroid problems at Ziauddin hospital, I remember this patient who was constantly taking iodine supplements for years and was detected with iodine toxicity.

4- Thyroid nodules are always cancerous

Let me say it again for you, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer are not the same thing. You can have a lump in your neck due to many possible reasons. So, rather than assuming that you are suffering from cancer, it is better that you take physician’s advice.

5- Your weight changes are always due to thyroid diseases

Most of the times we associate our weight changes to thyroid problems. If you are suddenly losing or gaining weight, you are not necessarily suffering from thyroid problems. The thyroid is just an easy scapegoat for your notable weight changes.

6- You should switch to a gluten-free diet

Most of the time it is recommended that you should switch to a gluten-free diet as it can trigger the disease. But there are more important factors that can make you develop the disease other than gluten. For instance, if you have a family history of hyperthyroidism, avoiding gluten, in particular, can’t save you from the disease.

The bottom line!

Thyroid diseases are a group of diseases that can affect people at any age irrespective of their gender. However, some people are more likely to develop thyroid disease than others. You can manage the disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and monitoring your health conditions. An endocrinologist can help you with the disease diagnosis and can make a workable treatment plan for you.

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